Tips about building my new pc

vbimport

#1

in a month i’m planning to buy (thanx mom! :bigsmile: ) a new pc, so i thought i could ask here about the new specs.
this is what i’m (by now) planning to buy (be careful that i din’t have so much money to spend… let’s say that 1000€ are the maximum limit…):
-Asus A7N8X deluxe (about 150€)
-AMD Athlon XP 2700/2800… dunno… (didn’t check availability…) (about 220€)
-Samsung DDR 400MHz 512MB Full-Brand (about 150€)
-Maxtor HDD Ata-133 160GB (around 150€ - i could downgrade this to save a bit…)
-Maybe a 54x Plextor reader (my uncle insists…) (20€ :cool: )

tell me anything that comes into your mind :smiley:


#2

Get 2 HD’s instead of one, use the second one for cache/scratch/paging files and backups. I very highly recommend the 8MB cache HD’s, ATA133 is a waste of time as the ATA100 drives with 8MB cache will outperform them. Also suggest a PCI controller for the HD’s, if you disable the SATA on the A7N8X, and put the controller card in PCI-3, it will have it’s own IRQ and you will see great performance. Plus you will have the main IDE for opticals. Do not use adapters to run PATA drives on the SATA, too many reports of data corruption.


#3

To be honest, I cannot tell the difference between 333MHz DDR-RAM and 400MHz DDR-RAM. My PC has 333MHz DDR-RAM and as after reading an overclocking article about tweaking the BIOS, I decided to try setting the RAM at 400MHz. The PC booted fine and I ran a linux RAM memory test from SuSE linux (took an hour to complete) and passed. I tried encoding various audio & video clips, but they took about the same length (about 30 seconds) or a second shorter than with the RAM at 333MHz. In the end, I set the RAM back to 333MHz. I would recommend reading reviews on 400MHz to see if it is really worth paying extra for this extra RAM speed or using the cost saving for a better hard drive.

For Hard drive speeds, go for the hard drive with the shortest access (seek) times and at least 7,200RPM as a priority. A seek time difference of even 1ms makes a noticeable difference, particularily when it comes to booting the PC and doing file searches. I have a Maxtor 7,200RPM 80GB ATA133 2MB cache with 8.7avg access time. Even with 60GB on this drive, its throughput and seek times are much quicker than my 20GB ATA100 7,200RPM (9ms seek time) Fijitisu hard drive with 10GB used. I also recommend two smaller hard drives instead of one large one. I use a 10GB partition on the 80GB hard drive for Windows XP and the remaining space for storage. I use a 10GB partition on the 20GB hard drive for Program Files and the remaining space for Redhat Linux. This makes a noticeable improvement in running large applications such as Visual C++.

For two hard drives, You can set a tweak in the registry by setting the key ‘ProgramFilesDir’ in “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion” to the drive letter of your second hard drive. After this, each application you install will have the default installation of your second hard drive and system files will be placed on your Windows installation drive. :wink:


#4

the hd i saw was 8-mb-buffered… thought it was nice…
two raid hd is anyway a good idea: a 10 gig for winz (maybe i could keep my actual drive? it is an ibm deskstar, 13gb…) and something like a 80 gig for anything else.
i really don’t know about that hard drive’s seek time, but will check…
how much is for a raid controller? i’d like at least a decent one…

another little thing: is it better to have the two optical drives (reader/burner) on the same channel or on different ones? i think that if i buy that cd-rom drive i will put readers on the first chan, and my litey on the second one…


#5

RAID isn’t all that great, you can boost performance at the cost of reliability, or boost reliability with no gain in performance. Seems like a trade off either way. I choose not to go with RAID.
The Promise controller cards are very good.
How you configure your optical drives really depends on how you need to use them. Multitasking 2 optical drives demands that they be on separate channels, but CD copying will go very well with them on the same channel.


#6

If you use an IBM deskstar, be sure to keep regular backups. In the past few years, nearly half of the people I know of who had an IBM hard drive have had theirs die. :confused: This includes the 6GB & 20GB IBM Deskstars in Dell laptops and various sizes up to 20GB in PCs. :eek: I haven’t heard of any IBM hard drive larger than 20GB giving up, so be careful what you stick on the IBM hard drive.

In my 4 years of college (finishing my BSc now), I heard of more RAID arrays totally dying than I have heard of PC hard disks giving up. For a home solution, to keep costs down, I’d recommend staying away from RAID and backing up your stuff on CD-R’s/Zip/etc. :wink: Even with RAID, backups should still be made.

Give the primary hard drive (for Windows), the quickest hard drive of the lot, as this is the one Windows will access the most for system files. I’d recommend sticking the swap file in a different partition (or hard drive) or make it a large fixed size. If the swap file gets fragmented with the parition’s files, this will seriously affect the systems performance when running a large number of applications. If you want a large hard drive mainly for backups, MP3/Video storage, etc. then go for capacity over speed/performance. :wink:


#7

If you are willing to spend some money for a fast harddive solution, may I suggest to buy a Western Digital raptor disk (37Gb, SATA150, 10krpm) as master disk, and a 120Gb Maxtor 8MB as second disk (for data or so)?

This’ll cost you an additional 100 Euros, but it sure is steamin’ fast!


#8

Western Digital raptor disk (37Gb, SATA150, 10krpm)

Drooling…are these available now? Can’t find one in the USA.


#9

Originally posted by Dee-ehn
Western Digital raptor disk (37Gb, SATA150, 10krpm) as master disk, and a 120Gb Maxtor 8MB as second disk (for data or so)
gee! i’m sweating! :bigsmile:


#10

Originally posted by rdgrimes

Drooling…are these available now? Can’t find one in the USA.

In the Netherlands, they are…

check this


#11

Western Digital raptor disk :

Average Read Seek 5.2 ms (average)
Reliability: MTBF 7 1,200,000 hours
5 year warranty

$199 direct from WD. Anybody reviewed one of these yet?


#12

tip: go to www.asusboards.com and ask-away! A superb site for pc advice … and similarly, when I’m over there, anyone asking about cd-related stuff I send over here! :cool:


#13

The WD Raptor is available @ newegg.com for $175 in case you’re wondering. If you’re not gonna buy a 200FSB AMD (XP3200), go w/ 2 sticks of high performance (Corsair XMS) PC2700 RAM. 2 because you’ll be running it on a nForce2 dual channel mobo, PC2700 because it’ll match your CPU’s FSB for faster syncronous speed.

But if you have the money, why not get (2) WD Raptor for kick ass RAID 0 action.


#14

performance (Corsair XMS) PC2700 RAM

Have a look at Belvadere’s recent thread HERE . The Nforce boards are not working all that well with PC2700 at 333, and can be very picky about DDR. Using PC3200 and running it in synch at 333 works much better. Most DDR seems to only run at spec. in asynch on these boards, which is slower than running it in synch at a lower speed. There’s no reason for it, some boards just don’t work with the PC2700. My own XMS PC3200 will not run in synch at 200 with any measure of stability, but runs like mad in synch at 185-190. Asynch, it will run very stable at 200, but the benchmarks are much lower. Based on all the problem reports I’ve seen in the AMD/Nforce forums, I recommend staying away from PC2700, and running the 3200 below 200. Haven’t seen any reports yet on the new Nforce boards with 400 Mhz support, or the new (rev.2) A7N8X, they may have solved these issues but I wouldn’t bet on it.


#15

Is it worth doshing out for a SATA if it’s running through the PCI bus? Can’t transfer any faster than ATA133, so really you’re paying for a couple of ms off your seek time.

I wouldn’t pay the extra for a SATA drive unless also paying for a 875 chipset where SATA is integrated into the southbridge (or if I upgraded my mobo regularly).


#16

Can’t transfer any faster than ATA133

The ATA133 drives don’t even transfer at 133 for 99% of the time, if at all. SATA should run just fine off the PCI, as long as you don’t have a bunch of other stuff sharing the bus and IRQ’s, but don’t expect huge improvements in performance from the current drives, except maybe the WD Raptor, which hasn’t been thoroughly reviewed yet. I have 2 empty SATA ports here, but have yet to see a compelling reason to use them, my WD Cavier w/8MB run really nice.


#17

Originally posted by hypnotik
[B]Is it worth doshing out for a SATA if it’s running through the PCI bus? Can’t transfer any faster than ATA133, so really you’re paying for a couple of ms off your seek time.

I wouldn’t pay the extra for a SATA drive unless also paying for a 875 chipset where SATA is integrated into the southbridge (or if I upgraded my mobo regularly). [/B]

PCI can do 133Mb/sec. I’ve never seen a IDE disk doing this…


#18

i don’t know how i’m going to finish this school year, but i’m hoping that i’ll do fine so i’m still planning my new comp :wink:

asus a7n8x deluxe 129€
AMD Athlon XP 2800+ Barton 512K (Socket A) 199€
SAMSUNG 256M DDR 400MHZ, FULL BRAND 60€ * 2
king plus miditower atx 400w 48€
cooler master noise absorber kit 18€
WESTERN DIGITAL WD360GD 36GB SATA 10KRPM 8MB 169€ :cool: :cool: :cool: (eat dust :bigsmile: )
SAPPHIRE ATI RADEON 9000 64MB DDR TvOUT AGP 63€
PLEXTOR 54X IDE 22€
COOLER MASTER HHCL61 SilentHeatPipe Sock.A XP2.X 32€

tot: 900€ (more or less…)

i already got a maxtor 80 GB 7200 2MB, which i’m obviously going to keep.

does everything look fine?
how am i supposed to connect my HD’s?


#19

Hey, why not go nuts and get 2 of the Raptor SATA drives and set up a striped RAID? That’s what I will eventually do with my own A7N8X-D. With a couple other HD’s on a PCI controller for backup. The A7N8X SATA ports will support RAID 0 and 1. 2 of those Raptors in a striped array should really scream.:cool:


#20

Originally posted by rdgrimes
Hey, why not go nuts and get 2 of the Raptor SATA drives and set up a striped RAID? That’s what I will eventually do with my own A7N8X-D. With a couple other HD’s on a PCI controller for backup. The A7N8X SATA ports will support RAID 0 and 1. 2 of those Raptors in a striped array should really scream.:cool:

I got my Raptor today…

Tomorrow, my second Maxtor PATA 120Gb with 8MB cache will arrive…

What I am intending to do?

Primary: raptor
secundary: 2x Maxtor Diamond Plus 9 in RAID 0